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Airtel launches for the first time in India a range of
M–Commerce solutions in a wide ranging partnership with HDFC bank, ICICI Bank, SBI, Corporation Bank, VISA and mChek

Bangalore, March 04, 2008

Customers with a credit/debit card can now transfer money, pay bills, recharge their phones, buy movie, air and rail tickets instantly on the mobile.
All transactions are completely secure as it is compliant with global security standards.
67,000 customers already availing of and satisfied with this service in an extensive national pilot.

Airtel today announced the launch of a whole range of M-Commerce solutions such as Mobile Money Transfer (MMT), Postpaid Bill Payment and Prepaid Recharge on the mobile phone. It is partnering with ICICI bank, HDFC bank, SBI, Corporation bank and VISA to enable these payments. The solution has been developed by mChek, a leading provider of mobile security and payment solutions. This is the first time in India that Mobile Money transfer will be available. The benefit will be felt by millions of Airtel customers. Customers can get started by simply sending a text message "Airtel" to 543219.

The solution is totally secure and has been certified by PCIDSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards), a stringent globally accepted security standard. In the pilot this has been amply demonstrated by customers having experienced a totally safe, secure and convenient service.

Airtel has extensively piloted these products across the country. It already has 67,000 registered customers for Postpaid bill payments with over a hundred thousand transactions running into several crores. In addition over 17000 movie tickets have been bought using this service.

Gopal Vittal, Director, Marketing & Communications, Airtel,
said, “Airtel has always led innovation in telecom, a key factor behind our leadership. This first of its kind innovation in India will allow millions of our customers to send money any time, from anywhere to anyone. We see tremendous growth potential for these and many more M-Commerce solutions on the mobile phone in the next few years. Our partnership and alliance led innovation approach that we have consistently followed has allowed us to build a solid ecosystem of banking and solution providers to be first off the block in this very relevant space"

Rahul Bhagat, Group Head – Retail Liabilities, Marketing & Direct Banking Channels, HDFC Bank, said
, "We are delighted to partner Airtel in providing M-Commerce solutions to Airtel subscribers. We see the Mobile becoming the convergence instrument, which allows all Banking transactions to be done with complete security and that too on the move. This initiative will help usher in a new era of mobile based payments, more particularly Person to Person Fund Transfers.”

Sachin Khandelwal, Senior General Manager, ICICI Bank,
said, “We are amongst the first bank to be a part of the "Airtel mChek" Platform and it is our constant endeavor to innovate and offer our customers a convenient, secure mode of doing day to day transactions.The "Airtel mChek" Platform will enable customers to transact through Mobile Phones and will extend the horizon of banking services to new frontiers.”

All Airtel mobile customers with credit/debit cards with ICICI bank, HDFC bank, SBI, Corporation bank & VISA, can now pay their Postpaid bills instantly. He can also pay for others & recharge his friends & family all in the matter of a few minutes. Further, Mobile Money transfer will empower an Airtel user to transfer money to their family or friends by a click of a button. This spells huge convenience to the customer and has the potential to redefine the benefit of a mobile phone from simply being a device for communication to being a mobile payments device. Now, buying tickets, making payments or even transferring money to anyone, anywhere, anytime is very much within the realm of possibility.  

Solutions being offered:

Mobile Money Transfer: Customers who have a VISA credit or debit card issued ICICI, HDFC, or Corporation  bank can now send money to their family and friends provided they have a VISA card at the other end.  In addition SBI customers will be able to transfer money from one SBI account to another SBI account or to any VISA debit/credit card in the country.
This service will now be launched on March 15.

Postpaid Bill Payment:
The service allows an Airtel Postpaid customer to pay their Postpaid bill anytime & from anywhere without having to go to a physical outlet ever again.  The service also enables the customer to pay for their friends & family thus providing convenience & control and is available now.

Prepaid Recharge:
The service allows any Airtel Prepaid customer to recharge their card without walking into a retail store ever again. The customer gets the choice of all available plans in the market. The service also enables the Airtel Postpaid customer to recharge their friends & family who are on the Prepaid service and is available now.

To avail any of the above applications, all Airtel mobile customers with compatible handsets need to download the application.  The download procedure includes verification of the card details of the applicant. The transaction process is extremely secure with a special bank authenticated system. The service eliminates the need for carrying cash for Money Transfer, making Postpaid bill payments and Prepaid recharging. It also does away with the need of a Point of Sale (POS) terminal since the mobile phone serves as a secure POS and a payment mechanism.

Airtel has partnered with mChek to provide the platform to operate its M-Commerce solutions. Sanjay Swamy, CEO, mChek , said, "mChek on Airtel combines the security of the mChek platform with the ubiquitous availability of the Airtel network and the trusted banking relationships of consumers."This year, Airtel was awarded with top honors in the GSMA Mobile World Congress Conference in Barcelona for the "mChek on Airtel" solution in the category “Best Billing/ Customer Care Solution. mChek as a service was introduced with an aim to enhance customer delight and provide them yet another simple, secure option for payments through mobile.

For more information, visit or write to [email protected] or call +91-80-41795900.

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